** FILE ** UT photo of former Longhorn, Tim Campbell. Photo credit: The University of Texas at Austin. Pic received on 11/29/05.

BEVO BEAT Football

50 in 50: The most productive pass rushers in Texas football history

Posted April 5th, 2017


Tom Herman singled out the Texas defensive lineman earlier this spring. He called them fat, and then explained how they need to improve. So, with that said, it’s safe to say that the Texas defensive line and other pass rushers would love to get after the quarterback next season and change the narrative.

They can show this during the Spring Game, but will they mimic these standout pass-rushers? Here some of the most productive pass rushers in Texas football history.

University of Texas football player Shane Dronett during the ’90s. (University of Texas Sports Information Office).

Most sacks in a game: Shane Dronett

In 1990, the Texas Longhorns went 10-2, the best season under coach David McWilliams. Starting the season unranked, Texas had a nine-game winning streak and reached the Cotton Bowl. One of those wins was a 41-22 victory in Lubbock against Texas Tech, and the star was Shane Dronett. The defensive lineman had five sacks, three quarterback hurries, a blocked a kick, six tackles for a loss of 35 yards and nine tackles over all.


Dronett had 22 sacks for his career at Texas and went on to play in the NFL, being drafted in the second round and 54th overall. He had 44 sacks in his 10-year career.

Most single season sacks: Kiki DeAyala

From 1980-82, Kiki DeAyala established himself as the greatest pass rusher in Texas football history, statistically speaking. His best season came in 1982 when he recorded 22.5 sacks in a season. Sacks weren’t officially counted by the NCAA until 2000, for some reason, so the current record holder for sacks in a season is Terrell Suggs, who had 24 sacks in 2002. But Derrick Thomas recorded 27 sacks in 1988 for Alabama, because Derrick Thomas was great at football.

Most career sacks: DeAyala

So if a player gets 22.5 sacks in one season, it gives him a pretty good chance to become the school’s all-time career sack record holder. DeAyala’s 40.5 sacks is the best in school history.

DeAyala, from Houston Memorial High School, was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round  in 1983, but decided to play for the Houston Gamblers in the in the USFL instead. He played for the Gamblers from 1984-1985 before joining Cincinnati from 1986-1987. He is now a real estate developer in the Houston area

The all-time college football career sack holder is Suggs with 44, but Derrick Thomas and Tedy Bruschi recorded 52 sacks during their careers, which came when the NCAA thought sacks didn’t exist.

The top 5 career sack leaders in Texas history:

UT photo of former Longhorn, Tim Campbell. (The University of Texas at Austin).
  1. DeAyala
  2. Tim Campbell (1975-79): Campbell had 39.5 sacks, his best season was 14 sacks in 1977. He and DeAyala are the only players to have two seasons of at least 14 or more sacks.
  3. Tony DeGrate (1981-84): DeGrate had 31 sacks, his best season being 1984 when he had 12
  4. Kenneth Sims (1978-81): Sims was taken No.1 in the NFL Draft by the New England Patriots after recording 29 sacks at Texas. His best season at Texas was an 11.5 sack total in 1980.
  5. Bill Acker (1975-79): That’s right. From 1975 to 1980, Texas had three of the greatest pass rushers in school history on the roster. And from 1975 to 1984, the top five pass rushers all played at Texas. Acker had 29 sacks, tied with Sims. Acker’s best season was 1978 with 14 sacks.

Best duo: 1978

Acker had 14 sacks while Dwight Jefferson had 13 sacks, combining for 27 total. Close second was in 1977, when Steve McMichael, yup, he was also on those teams, had 12 sacks in 1977 and Tim Campbell had 14 sacks for 26 total.

Insane year for sacks: 1980

Dewey Turner had 11.5 sacks, Sims had 11.5 sacks, Ken McCune had 14 sacks, and DeAyala was on this team as well.

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